UAE based Venom Blockchain announced that its testnet would be going live by the end of April 2023. Venom was the first blockchain foundation to be granted a license to operate in Abu Dhabi’s ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market).

The testnet is designed to suit both ecosystem users and developers and allows developers to test and debug dApps and blockchain protocols, while providing users with an immersive experience of these applications. As per the news, the Venom team believes that the testnet will encourage innovation and community building within its ecosystem, which is vital for growth and sustainability.

To engage with the Venom testnet, users will need to carry out two simple steps before being able to explore a variety of dApps built on Venom. Simply install the Venom wallet as a Google chrome browser extension or through either the app or Google play store. Secondly, users can jumpstart their journey of testing the Venom ecosystem by claiming testnet VENOM tokens.

The Venom testnet, will feature a diverse array of dApps. Some of these will be native to the Venom ecosystem, such as Venom Scan, while others have been developed by external projects and partners

For developers, Venom is offering the opportunity to try their hand at building on the asynchronous Venom blockchain which boasts ultra-fast speed at 100k TPS, and a dynamic Sharding feature that enhances scalability and network reliability. To kick things off, Venom has curated a repository of developer documentation to equip developers with the necessary tools and knowledge to start building.

Prior to this, UAE based Venom Ventures Fund, a Web3 and blockchain innovation fund managed by Abu Dhabi-based investment fund manager Iceberg Capital Limited, has invested $5 million in Everscale, a premier blockchain platform that aims to solve the scalability issues bogging down the Web3 industry.

The $5 million will be used by Everscale to expand its development teams and boost the number of projects.

The investment came after Venom Ventures Fund announced it was allocating $1 billion to invest in Web3, blockchain and cryptocurrency projects and services. This is the first $1 billion fund for Web3 and Blockchain to originate from the MENA region. Prior to this UAE Cypher Capital had announced its allocation of $200 million for Blockchain, Web3 and Crypto at the end of 2022 and Shurooq Partners had allocated $150 million for the same.

Finally Venom Foundation, announced it was cooperating with DAO Maker, a prominent blockchain growth solutions provider recognized for their Launchpad, to incubate innovative Web3 firms with an emphasis on providing real-world use cases.

Canadian, Spirit Blockchain Capital, an entity operating in the Blockchain and Digital Asset sectors with the primary goal of creating value in a rapidly growing environment through recurring cash flows and capital appreciation and UAE based Masary Capital, consulting platform for blockchain and metaverse, sign MOU to partner to bring DeFi, Web3, and crypto asset management services in UAE.

Masary Capital will allow Spirit Blockchain to provide an optimal environment for global Blockchain enterprises and growth for Spirit’s shareholders. Under the strategic partnership agreement, Spirit will leverage its relationship with Masary Capital to grow its presence in the Middle East and it will use Masary Capital as the advisory provider with respect to any potential growth within the region.

In addition, Spirit will support Masary Capital’s Dubai Blockchain and Metaverse Strategy by providing assistance for important Web3 infrastructure projects, including public blockchain, scaling solutions and decentralized applications such as DeFi and GameFi. As part of the partnership, Spirit will establish an office in Dubai.

Khalil Abdulla, Chief Executive Officer of Masary Capital, expressed his excitement about Spirit Blockchain Capital being its Swiss-Canadian based public company partner commenting: “We are thrilled to work with Spirit Blockchain. We strive to work with companies that intend to contribute to the region’s immense ecosystem. We know that having a local partnership is the only way to create significant inroads and allocate capital appropriately.”

Spirit and Masary shall become the preeminent strategic partnership for Decentralized Finance, Web3 and asset management companies in MENA.

Lewis Bateman, CEO of Spirit Blockchain said “This relationship exemplifies strategic opportunities in the Digital Assets and Blockchain space and the commitment that Spirit Blockchain Capital is able to provide. We couldn’t get to where we want to go without Masary as a key local partner,”. “Masary is the best partner in the region and the partnership will be the foundation of great opportunities and growth for both companies. This is only the beginning and soon we intend to list on the Nasdaq Dubai.”

DWF ( Digital Wave Finance) Labs a crypto investment firm, based out of UAE, has invested $1 million into LABEL Foundation, a Korean Based blockchain entity revolutionizing the music industry. 

The investment will be used to foster the development of their pioneering Dapp TRACKS and to expand their user base by bringing innovative solutions to the market. This is the third round for LABEL Foundation. Previously it raised funds from eBest Investment & Securities and Groom investments. This allowed LABEL to launch their Listen and Earn TRACKS decentralized application. 

LABEL believes that this revolutionary application has enormous prospects not just for artists but also listeners who want to contribute to the revenue flow of music and help make this sector more profitable

DWF Labs Managing Partner Andrei Grachev conveyed his enthusiasm for LABEL Foundation’s quest to promote innovation in the music business, stating “Their Listen-and-Earn TRACKS dApp is an exciting opportunity that has the potential to change the way music is created, shared, and monetized”. 

LABEL Foundation CSO Hyungsoon Choi also stated, that for them, this investment is not just about expanding their user base or bringing innovative solutions to the market, it’s perhaps about getting closer to creating a more equitable profit-sharing economy that includes permissionless IP rights application, monetization of music rights, and direct interaction between fans and artists.

DWF Labs is the multi-stage Web 3.0 investment firm. The investment firm is an affiliate of Digital Wave Finance (DWF) which has consistently maintained its position among the top 5 trading entities by volume in the crypto space thanks to its proprietary technology for high frequency trading. It has offices in Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, Hong Kong, South Korea, and even the British Virgin Islands.

The chairman of Belobaba, a crypto native hedge fund with a regulated security token, believes that Banks will become Dapps, and that this was the year of building crypto not a bearish year.

Five year old, Belobaba utilizes big data and AI in its investment decisions… The company is currently setting up its headquarters in the UAE as it seeks to get regulated in GCC region. The hedge fund is already regulated by the Gibraltar Financial services commission and operating legally in the USA, as well as in Spain and Estonia.

Lluís Mas, chairman at BELOBABA spoke to LaraontheBlock expressing his views on the crypto market,the banking sector and why they are setting up their headquarters in UAE.

The hedge fund which currently has just $5 million under management is seeking to grow and expand. According to Mas, “I don’t consider it a bad year for crypto and I wouldn’t call it a bullish or bearish market, because just remember in the bearish markets of 2017-2019 Uniswap was created as were NFTs. For me this year is a building year as we see Ethereum merge and global regulations pick up.  Companies like Black Rock are entering the crypto space and financial actors such as Coinbase are offering crypto products to institutional investors. So for me it is definitely a building year.”

He also states that it is absolutely unfair to talk about a crash of Bitcoin. He says, “Bitcoin is at $20,000 today, it is a far cry from where it started out. We also see billions of dollars being invested in esports, DeFi and blockchain with many projects performing well.”

While he doesn’t foresee any significant changes in the crypto market in the next few months, he does see a pick-up in the middle of 2023.  Mas states, “While I don’t see much change in the crypto scene today, what I do know is that Ethereum is super cheap, and things should start to pick up in mid-2023.”

When touching on the topic of banking and its evolution, Mas mentions a well-known phrase in the crypto community, “ Banks are necessary but bankers not” As he explains, for some time bankers have not been taking care of their customers, which has led to the rise of neo banks. For him the future of banks is Dapps. He explains, “ Banks will slowly become dapps first they have the money and collateral, secondly they are working hand in hand with regulators, so in the next few years they will move to decentralized applications. Bitcoin is not here to destroy, but to make things more efficient and more user friendly. This is unstoppable and our role is to educate as many people as possible.” 

According to Belobaba chairman Dapps stand as the new paradigm and DeFi represents a change in the business model of traditional banking giving the opportunity to put the user at the centre of the value model. 

He notes that the banks of the future will not be huge with 1000 employees, but might be as small and nimble as entities such as Uniswap which has just a dozen or so employees. 

While Belobaba seeks to build one day a crypto bank, the company is also bullish on NFT gaming industry which will reach $800 billion by 2024. Belobaba also sees Security token offerings as a huge opportunity given it has grown by 84 percent. As for crypto, it is expected to become a $24 trillion market by 2030.

In terms of expansion, Belobaba is moving its headquarters to Dubai UAE, and are in the process of seeking a license. Mas says, “We are working with local partners to move our headquarters here. There are two reasons for our move; first given we are originally from Spain, the GCC as a geographic region is a comfort zone. In Gibraltar we are accustomed to the Commonwealth laws, as is the situation in UAE.”

He adds that the region is connected to Asia and other continents, and most in the region are open to investing.

While it might not be easy to get a license says Mas, he is confident that given their track record and strong partnerships such as that with RSM their efforts will be fruitful. He explains, “We are actively looking into Abu Dhabi regulatory ADGM, VARA in Dubai and Bahrain.  RSM is a global network of audit, tax and consulting experts that help us ensure our investors are protected.”

Recently Belobaba invested 1 million Euros in Team Queso, a leading esports club in mobile gaming.

UAE based data and location-driven marketing services company, MEmob which utilizes blockchain technology to offer advanced and effective advertising services, is now accepting crypto payments

As per their announcement, MEmob is assisting entrepreneurs, crypto investors, agencies, and brands as well as decentralized apps (DAPPs), data oracles, blockchain firms, and crypto exchanges by offering them the opportunity to pay in cryptocurrencies. Ihab El Yaman, CEO of MEmob stated, “By backing blockchain technology, embracing it, and accepting cryptocurrencies as payments, we are saying that we believe in this long-term.”

MEmob was one of the first tech companies in MENA to integrate blockchain technology into its operations; MEmob is presently well positioned to enhance digital marketing activations & performance and has strict control over data flow and GDPR adherence. MEmob is trusted by top brands to harness their data for growth and ROI maximization.

Ihab El Yaman added, “I believe, Blockchain, with all its implementations, mistakes, and corrections, will become available to every user with access. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies will surely evolve and power the new internet. As we’ve seen with the internet and its use cases over the last 14 years of innovation, this new technology – blockchain too will evolve, possibly over the next ten years. But I am positive that in the near future, hospitals, governments, and financial systems will embrace this technology and reap the benefits. Blockchain integration empowers businesses to unlock endless opportunities to create a global digital footprint. It’s time that we all take active steps towards near future implementation. Also, it goes without saying that the rise of blockchain will eventually bring about a revolution and change the world as we see it now. The best is indeed yet to come.